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Us 23, Hillsboro 7, Waco 4, Providence 4, Todd 3, Elizabeth 3, D.c. 3, Washington 3, Dallas 3, Jake 2, Casey 2, West Texas 2, William Patrick Swanton 1, Waco Pd 1, The F.a.a. 1, Waco News 1, Vacked 1, Willy Nelson 1, Patrick Swanson 1, Ems 1,
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  FOX News    Red Eye    News/Business.  (2013) New.  

    April 18, 2013
    12:00 - 1:00am PDT  

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treat all of these folks and also help them with their families? >> be happy to do that. this is something that hospitals across the country really practice on an on going basis. it is our emergency preparedness. each facility has a disaster plan, and when it comes to times like that, you enable your disaster plan and things just start -- things happen and go into motion. shortly after 8:00 p.m. tonight when this incident occurred we established our incident command center and called our disaster plan code and people started assembling. i have to tell you i was amazed at the number of physicians and the nurses and the therapists that showed up to take care of people. we actually got to a p oi nt where we to call off people and say we have enough staff. no need to come in. people assembled very quickly. and within 45 minutes way were ready to take our first patient. an amazing job by the doctors
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and staff of this organization. >> now with respect obviously to folks' privacy at this point, can you tell us any details about the injuries that you are seeing at this point? hopefully you can gauge a little that it has been about seven hours. can you tell us any details? >> sure, at this point, we have been fortunate that at our hospital we have seen the majority of our patients and we have seen about 65 patients here at providence and most of our injuries have been minor or moderate this nature. on the order of cuts and abrasions and some broken bones and quite a few patients that had respiratory distress obviously brought on by chemical inhalation. those kinds of injuries, we only had one critical injury and my latest update on that is the patient was stabilized. we have been fortunate with the patients brought here and most are in pretty good shape and doing well. >> with so many folks who did
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suffer from the smoke inhalation and we are learning that the fumes were toxic. i believe it is anhurst ammonia, and you can correct me if i am wrong. that sounds pretty dangerous. >> i don't know my chemicals like i probably should, so i don't know the long-term impact of that, but our respiratory therapists are on site and we had almost a dozen of them available that knew what they were doing in order to treat these patients effectively along with the doctors who are caring for them. they had the right skills and the equipment to take care of their needs. unsure of what that looks like. >> right, and you said there were 65 patients admitted. can you give me a good idea, are you still treating those folks? have some people been sent home? >> out of the 65 that came here, there are still quite a few that are still here that we continue to treat. most of them will go home. we will admit probably 10 to
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12 of those tonight for at least the night and observe them. probably the critical patient that has been stabilized will be here a little longer. >> brett, thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. you gave us some critical information. our viewers have the phone numbers and we have an update on the patients and we wish all of the families the best. they are in our thoughts and prayers. thank you for joining us. >> thank you, elizabeth. >> a traumatizing situation for many folks. many witnesses, some as far as 20 miles away. we listened to one woman earlier today and here is what she told us. >> i'm worried about it. i can't even absorb everything right now. when i got to my mom i was just like beside myself. i was so worried about my
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brother that i had just talk i talked to and told him where i was. it is like i am numb. i can't even feel whatever it is i am supposed to feel. >> there are still so many folks trying to get in touch with family and friends at this hour. joining us now on the phone, stacy farmer who lives down the road from where the explosion happened. stacy can you tell me where were you last night around 8:00 p.m. when the explosion occurred? >> i was actually at my other house up near covington where my whole house up here shook which is is probably about 20 miles north. i thought there was an earthquake up here, and then i found out that near my other house four miles away this is happening. >> have you been able to get inside your home, or are you in that evacuated area? you mentioned you are four miles away so i assume your home is safe?
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>> i don't know. i assume it is safe, but it is evacuated. i spoke to my neighbor down the street and everybody she said but two of our neighbors, everybody else is is evacuated. this was hours ago, and i offered for them to come up to my other house. everybody is in such shock nobody knows what to do. >> what are your neighbors telling you? were any of your neighbors home at the time of the explosion? were they close to the actual incident? you were 20 miles away and you felt the blast. what about those folks who were perhaps four miles away? >> i did thought ask her. the conversation was more, are you okay? do you need a place to go, and that sort of thing. the concern was fires and of course the chemicals burning in the air. that's where we buy our farm chemicals and i don't know what else is stored there. but i do know the school there
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is where everybody is going for a place to be evacuatedment. >> are you hearing they stories about family and friends trying to get in touch with loved ones and they haven't been able to do so this morning? >> not in my circle of friends because all of our cell phone service is fine. >> tell me a little about this area. you were only a few miles from where it occurred, but it sounds like a tight knit community. can you set the scene for us and tell the viewers what that area is like? >> absolutely. as you may or may not know willy nelson was born in abbott, texas which is the next town north. abbott doesn't even have a traffic light. all of our shopping is done in west. we go to church in west. you shop in west. you go to dinner in west. everything is in west. there is a lot of small communities. about every 10 to 20 miles you have another small city
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because it is so rural here that we all have our own schools and our own volunteer fire department, but west is pretty much the hub of any shopping unless you go all the way to waco or on the other side you can go up to hillsboro. so it is the community gathering place. all of our kids play baseball there. it is where everybody goes. everybody knows everybody. >> i would assume you anticipate a lot of folks banning together in this very difficult time. are you hearing anything from authorities about perhaps when you can get back into your home? what are you hearing? any direction from law enforcement at this point? jay i have not heard anything. -- >> i have not heard anything. it appears the fires are under control, i hope. we can smell the chemicals in the air all the way up here because i am just a little bit
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northwest of there now. >> what does it smell like? >> i really can't even describe the smell other than your throat and eyes are burning. it is a smell i can't even describe. it is not that bad up here. like i said, i am about 15 miles away right now. the house and the ranch down there -- everybody -- it is rural in the area i am from which is just north of west and you go -- your neighbors are two miles apart from each other, but you know each other so well. >> and it sounds like that this facility, this plant really had a lot of employees. was this a big source of employment for the community? do you know how many men and women worked there by chance? >> i do not. myself
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personally only went to the office part of it to pick up chemicals for my ranch, but i don't have any idea how many employees would have been on the whole site. >> did you hear any word, and i realize you weren't at home at the time, but did you get word prior to and we are under the impression that there was a fire earlier in the afternoon and the actual explosion happened when there are firefighters in the facility. being a homeowner did you get a warning that there was something happening at the plant at that time? >> no, there would have been no way for the people like myself to be notified. in that area, you don't -- you have to watch dallas news. if you have cable you don't even see waco news. there is no news in west. like i said, even door-to-door, it is so rural -- i mean i live off three dirt roads. there is just no way that they could have informed everybody.
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we would have heard the siren from town 12 miles away, but we would have not known anything. it could have been a possible tornado. >> so now when you hear the stories, it is very rural and a tight-knit community, you hear the stories there could be up to four blocks of the community basically flattened out, how does that make you feel, and what do you think it looks like at this moment? >> i'm just in shock and devastated. you watch it on tv and you see this stuff happening in other places, but thought here. it is mind boggling. i don't even know. it is beyond comprehensible. >> we had heard from a trooper earlier, and he described the scene. he said there was a nursing home and an apartment complex that basically looked like
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skeletons in the sky. do you know where those are? i believe we have a press conference and i have to interrupt you at this point, stacy, but we will be back with you shortly. let's head to the press conference out of west, texas. >> we are going to continue to do that. there is still a lot of unknowns at this point. but we are working on getting answers to you. fair enough? let me tell you who i am. my name is sergeant william patrick swanton. i am a spokesperson for the waco police department. the reason i am here tonight is west has called us to assist. i am here with trooper bill from the department of public safety. he is the pio and we are here to bring everybody up to speed on what we know and what has happened so far tonight. we know at 6:00 p.m. roughly
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our time there was a fire at the west fertilizer company in downtown west, texas. once that fire started their fire department responded. numerous firefighters went to the scene to assist in putting that fire out. as they were at the scene they realized the seriousness of what they had based on it being a fertilizer plant. we knew there was hydrous ammonia in there and we alreadied the volatile tee of that and how explosive it could be. they immediately did evacuations of homes, businesses trying to get people out of the area. approximately 50 minutes after sparks there was a massive explosion at the fertilizer plant. they were in the process of removing people from homes and nursing home in the area and an apartment complex. i can tell you from me driving to the scene there, there is
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quite a bit of devastation in that area. there are victims that were in homes. there are victims from the nursing home. there are victims also from an apartment complex, an approximate 50-unit apartment complex. some of the photos, you can see the devastation. i can tell you once they started to clear the injured out there were a tremendous response from law enforcent in agencies from the sheriff's department, waco pd, waco fire, emergency management and other numerous agencies responded to west to assist with west. many ambulance companies, medical personnel also assisted here as well and they are still here trying to help and get the wounded out. most of the folks that are wounded are being taken to the abbott area to a local high
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school and that is where they are being triaged. they are setting that up as a resource center for people to be y vacked. we are evacuating based on the on going dangers of the tire still there. they have most of them under control, but they are trying to move people out and get them evacuated out of the area still. i just talked to my commander on the ground there on h in -- in the scene. he is saying he is seeing extreme devastation in homes, in some of the businesses. they were still getting injured folks out and evacuating people from their homes. at this point, we don't know a number that have been killed. i will confirm there have been fatalities. i think we will see the fatalities increase as we get toward the morning. numerous injuries have been moved from the scene to
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hospital. we have taken them to our city limits from waco to hillcrest and providence hospital where they are being treated. >> can you say the names again? >> hillcrest hospital is our primary trauma care center. the majority of the injured were taken there. the over flow was taken to providence hospital as well inside waco. at this time, we are still trying to evacuate some of the homes. we are going house to house, business to business, and we are seeing quite a bit of devastation in that area. what they are trying to do is move people away still. they are having to be very cautious because there is structural damage to homes and to businesses. we have to be very cautious because of there being gas lines and gas mains. our utility systems are here. they have entered the area and are cutting off the main flow of gas, natural gas.
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they are cutting off power so we don't have a secondary fire from electricity-sparked fire things along that line. currently we are still there. many agencies are here assisting west pd. i can tell you the mayor has been here earlier tonight. he is also a firefighter for this city. it has taken a toll on him. he knows that potentially he has lost some firefighters. i can confirm that there may be firefighters that are unaccounted for and potentially a law enforcement officer as well. we are still trying to determine that. obviously they were there on scene directing traffic and fighting the fire and helping with the evacuation. again we don't know a hard number, the fatality count as soon as we can get that we can get that information to you. they were still pulling people out of the homes. yes, people were trapped. are they still at this point
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finding them? we don't know. they are still going from house to house. my guess is they are going to find some people still trapped. >> [inaudible]. >> i know they have shut areas of utility and power off not only to the immediate blast area, but other areas that they think may be affected or to keep from additional injury or harm from happening. a lot of that is on going and that is a process. i will tell you there has been a tremendous amount of resources and outpouring from community not only here in west, but those of you that don't know west it is about 2800 people. they are a very close knit, tight knit community here. they have relied heavily on each other tonight for this support that they have got. they have relied heavily on the outpouring of support from the additional agencies in and around the area. i will tell you we have seen
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involvement not only from mcclinnon county which is where we are, but surrounding agencies in and around mcclinnon county that are here helping. there is a huge outpouring of that. there is a law enforcement chand post set up. command post set up. there is an incident command post set up. they have hazmat on scene. they are working with some of the local meteor roll gists here. we have had pretty strong south winds throughout the night. at some point we are hearing about 7:00 or so in the morning our winds are going to switch to the north and are going to continue to be as strong. so we are looking at another area that may be affected once those winds shift. we are still in the process of trying to get people out and trying to get them to help. and also those that have not been injured, but they are affected by the blast, we are trying to get them somewhere they are safe for the night
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and start to get them with some resources. >> there were 60 to 70 fatalities. what can you say about that report? >> i cannot confirm that at all. i don't know the doctor that confirmed that. i have not heard that number. and let me do this, i know you will have a few questions and instead of everybody hollering i will try to answer what i can, but you will get a lot of i'm not sure yet from me. let's not just get too crazy here. somebody over here. yes, sir? [inaudible]. >> they were moving people out of the immediate area. i don't know how far ranging that was. it is my guess they are trying to keep people from coming into the area. it was absolutely for safety reasons because we don't know yet. we haven't been able to assess totally the damage and what potential harm that lay there. >> [inaudible]
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>> i know that there was a small contingent of firefighters that went back into the plant based on there being a fire burning under several tanks they were very concerned about. if those catch or get to a flash point those would go and we would have second or third explosions. they have fire under control and i don't think that is any longer a threat. >> [inaudible] >> i cannot verify that. i know the mayor is here. he didn't say anything about that, but i cannot verify that. >> [inaudible]. >> i don't know that, sir. >> [inaudible]
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>> the abundance of caution in what? >> of not identifying the number. >> because we don't know. we don't know the numbers yet. they are still pulling victims out. they are still bringing victims to triage. until we have a good estimate we don't want to guess. we want to be very specific with you and give you facts and not a guess. >> [inaudible] >> absolutely. i can tell you when i got here my first assignment was to go into the immediate area of the command post. they moved me after i got there, but on the way in i can tell you i saw homes that were burning. there were homes that had significant devastation based on windows blown out, bricks pulled off siding pulled off. some homes were leveled. it was almost tornadic in affect. it looked to me like one home would be fine, but next to it there is extreme devastation.
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>> [inaudible]. >> i don't know that, sir. >> at this moment are more than zero confirmed dead? >> are more than zero confirmed dead? yes, there are fatalities. >> how many are connish ifed dead. >> i am not telling you how many are confirmed, but there are confirmed fatalities. >> [inaudible]. >> ems, fire and let me make sure i am very clear on that. we know fire was there. we know law enforcement was there assisting with traffic, and i believe there were ems. i will tell you that i have not verified. i heard there was a helicopter somewhere on scene that actually sustained some damage in the blast and i am working to confirm that as well. i don't know for sure if that is a fact or not. >> any indication as to the cause of the fire? >> no, at this point we don't know. that is something they will look at is whether that was a
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criminal activity or whether it was just a fire that got sparked from some type of chemical reaction. >> [inaudible] >> certainly air quality is a concern. there are people here that are well versed in what that issue may be. they are looking at all of the weather events that are going on around us and where the cloud may drift and what potentially is in that cloud and what may or may not cause harm. that's something they are working on to let us know. >> [inaudible] >> we know it is coming, and they have evac plans that they will broaden and change to where they need to based on that. >> any idea on how many might potentially still be trapped at this point? >> we don't know. again, you have to understand this is a downtown area. when i say downtown area, there are businesses there. there are apartments there and a nursing home was there. there are homes in the area.
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it is going into a midsized city and having to search it home by home, business by business, block by block. it is a very tedious process. they have to be extremely careful. the reason utilities have been shut off we don't want thin else injured, stepping on live wires. that's what they have to be very cautious about at this point. >> [inaudible]. >> i know there were numerous people injured in the nursing home. most of those were in the process of being evacuated. i don't have a confirmation. >> [inaudible] >> i do not.
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>> how broad is the damage in square one? can you give us an estimate how many structures are leveled? >> i cannot. problem blot not -- probably not until morning we will know the true devastation that occurred. if you haven't seen the video you saw how dramatic -- if you saw the video you how how dramatic the explosion was. it was a huge explosion. depending on what was around it, what the structures were, the concussion could be far reaching. >> [inaudible]. >> i am being told those are used by the ground teams to clear houses.
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i don't know the significance of the colors. one more question. >> [inaudible]. >> i don't know at this point. hopefully in the morning we will be able to give you much more detail on how far reaching it was. i will get back with you as we have new information. i will tell you, i appreciate y'all being here and waiting for this information. i know you are wanting to get to where maybe you can see more and we ask that you thought. it is not safe, and i am telling you it is not safe for you to go there. please remain here with us and as we can we are coming out and giving you bits and pieces. >> startling new details. we learned the initial call came in to that fertilizer plant right around 6:00 p.m.
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last night. a number of firefighters arrived on scene they realized the gravity of the situation. the chemical that is in play here is anhydrous ammonia. it is a toxic chemical that is incredibly flammable. what firefighters did at that point was evacuated the surrounding area immediately probably saving hundreds of lives. they evacuated homes and businesses and they evacuated apartment buildings and they evacuated a nursing home that had about 130 units inside. but it was only an hour, hour and a half later, about 8:00 p.m. is when the explosion took place. that's when we know it leveled about four blocks around that facility. it disseminated those very, very toxic fumes which i am learning can be quite irritating when ingested. it can cause mild to moderate nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, burning of the mouth,
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throat, esophagus and stomach. we heard from casey on the ground who is miles away from the location, but can still feel and smell the chemicals. joining us on the phone now is todd from fox news radio. first, todd, thank you for joining us. thank you for joining us all night. i know you and i just listened to the press conference and i want to gauge your reaction. did you get that same reaction as me when you heard they initially arrived at 6:00 p.m. on the scene? >> i did, elizabeth. i also believe they are preparing us for what could be a very difficult day in texas. they are confirming that there are fatalities. at this point they are not releasing a number. they do believe that some of those individuals may in fact be firefighters. there is a possibility that a police officer may have lost his or her life in that
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explosion as well. it sounds to me as patrick swanson, he was the gentleman giving the briefing with the waco police department. it seems to me that these individuals are just incredible heros. literally putting themselves in the line of fire and in the line of danger to get people out of their homes. what really strikes me is here we are six hours, a little over six hours after the explosion, elizabeth, and they are still evacuating people from their homes. we understand that some of those individuals are actually trapped in the rubble of their houses. they are trying to get the people out. the fire is is still burning in some locations. it is a very, very dangerous situation in this early morning hour. >> i thought it was so unbelievable when he was describing the state of the homes, the brick being ripped apart.
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he said it looked like tornadic activity, and i have seen it as devastating. to think a blast can have that ripple affect is hard to fathom. they are still going door-to-door, and you are correct when you say he was preparing us what we will see when the sun does in fact come up hours from now in west, texas. and we have new cell phone video i want our viewers to see where you can see -- it was sent in from a viewer if i am not mistaken and you can see how jarring this blast was if we can play that. >> the wind is blowing that way.
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>> really unbelievable. todd, i think one of the things i remember from that press conference is that this blast happened when they were still in the middle of evacuating folks from their homes. so perhaps a blessing they were doing so, but like you said preparing us for the fact that there will be a long road ahead. it is not just folks in the immediate area. i am under the impression that this chemical is not only in the area within an eight to ten-block radius, but much further. some of the folks we spoke with said they are smelling it up to 20 miles away. and is there any danger -- i heard there is some weather coming. is there danger that radius could even shift? >> could be. that's the big concern. they hinted at that in the press conference that the winds will be changing direction.
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if that happens they may in fact have to evacuate more people from this air. we do know the damage, even though it was devastating within a five to seven block area around the blast zone, we understand that there was damage several miles out. we are talking a significant amount of damage, a significant amount of people sleeping in shelters and in hotels and church houses and many may not be able to go baying to their homes. i -- to go back to their homes. we believe 50 to 75 homes damaged and not to mention the businesses. and it is so, so dangerous. they mentioned the gas lines which is some of the utility structures that have been knocked out. those are all danger zones. again the rescuers are going house to house and putting their lives on the line to save as many people as possible in this area.
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>> and still i remember you reporting hours ago that there are hundreds injured and it was so powerful, this blast, that it registered as an earthquake. that's hard to fathom a blast can do that. we are dealing with an intense chemical here. you mentioned in your reporting that there was a period of time that rescue workers could not get near that plume is what i understand. it was so deadly and it was so toxic that there was a no fly zone, is that right? >> they asked for the f.a.a. and they ordered aircraft out of the area. and the video that we saw, if it keeps playing you will see the blast concussion hit the father and his child and that car. it is just shocking. you wouldn't think being that far away from the blast it would have that kind of an impact. but it really does. the mayor was interviewed by
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one of the local television stations. the mayor said the blast was so powerful that it knocked the mirrors off of his pick up truck and blew the hat right off of his head. >> that's unbelievable. throughout the night you were reporting along the lines of the heros in this story. there was a response effort and getting people to local hospitals. initially we heard they were getting sent to a local hospital and there was a triage center. as the night continues we learned there were efforts from all over the state and that victims were being sent to a number of hospitals and not just only in waco and west. >> that's right. there have been a number of children injured as well as the elderly who were pulled out of the nursing home. some of the children were sent to temple. the burn unit in dallas received a number of patients as well.
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west is not a large community. they only had three ambulances. so we heard reports that people, citizens, were putting victims into their own cars and driving them to the emergency room, to the hospitals. these hospitals had to set up triage in their parking lots to accommodate the numbers. dozens and dozens of people. as they told us a few moments ago, six hours that this, they are still bringing people to the hospital. >> and we spoke with a hospital representative from providence earlier. he said they -- in just that hospital alone they saw about 65 patients, one was critical. he or she, that patient is now stabilized. the injuries are pretty moderate. a lot of cuts and bruises. they are seeing broken bones, but a lot is being respiratory, what we talked about from the chemical being in the air. from what i understand is that
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there are number of folks at hillcrest hospital, but at this time, do you think from our reporting and from your reporting that there are people who are still trying to get in touch with loved ones at this time? >> absolutely. there is a facebook page that was set up by one of the television stations. they provided lists of telephone numbers and ways to get uh hold of family members and loved ones who might be at the various hospitals. we haven't heard of people looking for loved ones and i suspect that is the case. especially if they are still pulling people out of the homes and the devastated area. i think the folks there are in for a long night, and again i think they will be in for quite a bit of shock in a few more hours. >> you are right and i can't thank you enough for being on top of your reports this
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morning. you have certainly made our coverage, todd. we appreciate it. >> thanks, elizabeth. >> talk to you soon. joining us now on the phone is jake herald. he works at the comfort ip in hillsboro -- the comfort inn in hillsboro. he is originally from the town of west, texas. i understand you are in hillsboro which is 20 miles from the blast site in west, texas. first and foremost before an update on your clients there, did you also feel the blast late last night? >> yes, ma'am. it went on for about 15, 20 seconds, shook the entire house. >> so you were home at the time or were you at work at the time? >> i was at home at the time. >> so you said it shook for about 15 to 20 seconds. initially did you think it was an earthquake? what was your reaction? >> i had no idea. my fiancee thought it was an earthquake. there was a lot of people confused. there are updates on facebook asking if we were okay because there was an earthquake in the
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area. >> are you back at work this evening? i am under the impression that a lot of folks really have no where to go tonight. >> yes, i am working overnight from now until 6:00 in the morning. >> tell me the stories you are hearing. are you hearing folks were displaced from their homes or people who can't get in touch with loved ones by chance? >> we have had a couple call in and say they are displaced. we have had a couple of people call and give their credit card information saying if people need a place to say we can give rooms to them. >> that is certainly significant. it exemplifies the character of folks in the area. it is certainly sending shock waves throughout the community. can you just give our viewers an idea of what folks are going through right now? >> just stories i have heard. some people were asleep at the time. they had no idea. even within miles they had no
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idea what had happened when it did and were devastated by all of the destruction. some people lost their homes in a matter of one, two minutes. you went from your house is okay to it doesn't have a roof or windows or doors. >> jake, a very personal story. thank you for joining us. we will take a break. for our viewers at home, please stay with us. we will have more after the break.
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this is a fox news alert. i am reporting from washington, d.c. we have been following the situation in west texas all night. in fact, we just learned from a press conference some new details that are emerging. a time line for folks who are just, last night around 6:00 p.m. there was an explosion at west fertilizer which is a fertilizing plant in west, texas right outside of waco. numerous firefighters arrived on scene realizing the seriousness of the situation because of anhydrous ammonia
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which is a chemical at the plant and extreme ledee instruct tiff. they called in back up and began evacuating homes and businesses around that area. just about two hours later that's when the massive explosion occurred. it leveled about four to six blocks around the facility. so many folks are not able to be in their homes this evening because there was an evacuation area about 10 blocks around that plant. joining us on the phone now is jake herald. jake, are you still with us? >> yes, ma'am. >> jake, you work at the comfort suites in hillsboro, but you were home at the time. can you set it up for our viewers not only how far you are from the location of the blast, but what you still felt right around 80:00 last -- 8:00 last night? >> well i am 15 miles from where the explosion happened. i woke up around 8:00 and it was actually my fiancee who was scared thinking it was either an earthquake or a
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derailed train, i don't know. there were all sorts of thoughts. for 15 or 20 second ises we had no idea. there was 5 or 10 people that had no idea what was going on. everyone thought there was an earthquake. >> are you getting any firsthand accounts for friends or family members or even clients, like i said you are working at the comfort suites in hillsboro so folks are there overnight. just how jarring was it closer to the blast site? are you able to share any stories with us? >> i haven't had anybody that has come close. we had several reporters check in and several people offer to cover rooms if people want to stay here, but nobody has come in yet. >> people are calling in and trying to cover rooms for folks who need a place to stay. and that is because we are learn thrg is a severe weather system headed for the area that could shift the winds and force further evacuations for folks that could be exposed to
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this very irritating chemical which we learned can cause some very irritating upper respiratory issues are you prepared for the fact that you could see more folks come into your hotel? >> we are all set on stand by. we are trying to give the best prices my computer will allow us to give and handle who ever we can that wants or needs a room. >> if people wanted to perhaps call up and pay for a hotel room , could they do that? could you give us some contact information for us so we can put it on the screen for you? >> i definitely can. if somebody would like to right now with the price i have been told the regular rate is $90, but we can charge somebody who wants to cover a room $67.99. you can reach us by calling comfort suites at 254-582-8800. jay 254-582-8800 if folks are willing to pick up a room. we know there could be further
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families who are displaced. i know people are already calling. can you give us an idea of the sense of communities. i know you are in hillsboro, but the towns are close knit and close together. give us an idea what everyone is going through at this moment. >> everybody right now, their main concern is making sure everybody is take -- taken care of. so i have some people that are coming now so if i could not hold you any longer. >> yes, sure. thank you very much. >> yes, thank you, goodbye. >> for viewers just tuning in, we are keeping an eye on the situation that continues to develop. we heard from a trooper from the waco police department who told us he does anticipate when the sun comes up we will see some jarring pictures. the explosion that did take place around 8:00 p.m. at the west fertilizer plant basically leveled an 8 to
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10-block area around that area. what we do know is the blast was felt anywhere between 50 to twenty miles away sp. we have cell phone video. a family was able to record the blast. if you look at the cell phone video you can see that the whole car basically shook at the time. now do we have that video? here it is. >> now, this blast took place right ready a 8:00 p.m. last night. the evacuation around the facility began around 6:00 p.m. due to the fact that the
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firefighters were able to evaluate the situation and realized they were in a very scary predicament. they begin to evacuate apartments and they begin to evacuate nursing homes of about 130 units. the apartment complex i mentioned was 50-unit complex. and then they went out in a radius around the homes. we did hear from one first responder who said it was a very chaotic situation. listen. >> we heard the explosion, so we went ahead and hurried up and got into town. it was a situation where we pulled up at the retirement home because we knew they would need help. all of the windows were blown out and the doors were gone. as we went into the building there was -- the ceiling was down. it was a situation to where the doors were out. all of the glass was blown out. we would go into each room and there was sheet rock on top of the patients. as quick as i could we would get that. all of the lights were down
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and all of the ceilings were down. >> how many people did you pull out? >> i pulled 16 people out of there. i carried two at one time to get them out. i knew how bad it was. from there we went to the next wing and made sure it was clear. >> what people need to remember is this is still a very dangerous situation. authorities tell us they are still evaluating some of the homes. they are still going house to house. they are still trying to rescue people who may be stuck in their homes because of the debris. it is very much an on going situation. we also know investigators are heading to west texas to investigate the plant. we will continue to follow the situation. please stay with us. we will be back with more after the break.
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i'm worried about a lot of things. it is like my -- i can't even absorb everything right now. when i got to my mom i was beside myself. i was just like, i was so worried about my brother that i had just talked to and told him where i was, and i just -- it is just so much it is like i am numb.
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i can't even feel whatever it is i am supposed to feel. >> this is a fox news alert. i am in washington, d.c. and we continue to cover the devastation out of west texas right near waco. we heard some breaking developments just moments ago from the waco police department where we know right around 6:00 p.m. there was a fire alarm at west fertilizer which is the plant where we know the explosion did take place. when firefighters arrived on scene they really realized the gravity of the situation. the plant has a number of tanks filled with anhydrous ammonia that can be used for agriculture purposes, but it is a very concentrated and a very toxic chemical. it is also very volatile. they were able to gauge the situation and that is when they started evacuating the neighborhood nearby. they started evacuating apartment buildings and they had about 50 units. they evacuated a nursing home with 130 units. and they they began to
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evacuate the homes and the businesses in the surrounding area. we know around 8:00 p.m. an explosion did in fact take place. there were firefighters who were fighting the fire inside. we learned from the press conference that in addition to the hundreds of injuries there has been some fatalities. it will be some time before they know that number. they are still addressing the situation. we know there will be a press conference hours from now, but right now they are evaluating the situation and going from home to home. they are still making sure that folks are safe, and there is still a search and rescue effort. we know there is a small fire in the facility. we are going to keep you posted on this. stay tuned to fox news for the latest. we will be back.
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>> this is a fox news alert and we are in washington, d.c. and are continuing coverage in these early morning hours. we have been watching the developing story out of west texas where 8:00 p.m. last
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night an explosion lead to hundreds of injuries and there are a number of people still in hospitals. casey is near the scene in west texas and casey, can you tell us how close are you able to get and can you smell is that chemical -- oh i can see you on camera. i didn't know you were on camera. tell us about the scene there thousand this morning. >> the smell we were talking about as we were driving in along interstate 35 from dallas is not really noticible where i am standing. the wind is picking up and there are potential severe storms forecasted in the next couple hours and that is concerning some of the firefighters and the emergency crews as the winds pick up. and they continue to fan these chemical fumes that are in the air from this plont. this is as close as they are letting the media get. it is thought close. we are a couple miles from where the blast happened. this is still

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